Whitmarsh “relaxed” despite coming under fire

1 Comment

Martin Whitmarsh has stated that he is “relaxed” despite coming under fire following McLaren’s poor start to the 2013 Formula One season.

McLaren have scored just four points so far this season as drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez struggle to get to grips with the new car, but Whitmarsh does not feel under any pressure as team principal.

“I’m relaxed about it,” said Whitmarsh in an interview. “I’m passionate about what I do and I don’t like it when it doesn’t go right but we’ve all got a job to do and I don’t ever shy away from facing up to stuff.”

Whitmarsh refused to blame McLaren’s poor start on an individual, instead saying that the team succeed and fail together.

“It’s always very easy; people were trying to get me to name names of who might be responsible and people who might not even be here to defend themselves, but that’s not my style. That’s not how I operate and I hope and believe ultimately in our drivers, engineers; we’ve got a lot of bright, motivated people here.

“If you try and make decisions or impose them saying ‘I’m in charge, this is how it’s going to be’, you’ll fail.”

Many critics have called for Whitmarsh to be replaced by former McLaren chief Ron Dennis, but the incumbent team principal has confidence in his own ability.

“I hope and believe that I’ve got a reasonable amount of persuasive influence on most of the people in the organisation because they respect – I hope they do, not always I’m sure – generally respect that I play it straight, I tell them what I think.”

McLaren’s poor start is difficult to attribute to any factor besides their car. The development route taken by the team has sacrificed their early season form, but if they can continue the upward trend on display in Malaysia, they could be in a position to win races towards the end of the season.

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”